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Chapter 1: Surrender Is Just a Beginning

The most basic and the most fundamental commandment is to love oneself. I don’t say only accept, because that word is not enough - you can accept and you may not love. You may accept, because what can be done? - you are in a deep helplessness, but that is not acceptance. Unless you accept yourself as a blessing, unless you accept and welcome yourself, unless you accept yourself in deep gratitude, unless you love yourself, you will never become an overflowing energy. Then the energy can flow in song, in dance, in painting. A thousand and one ways of creativity can be found; or it can simply flow in deep silence. And whomsoever comes in contact with that deep silence will be transformed and will hear for the first time the music which is celestial. So not only accept, but accept with deep gratitude. Be thankful that existence has made you you, and not anybody else.

Everybody has a unique function to fulfill, that’s why he exists. And when I say everybody, I mean everybody. A Judas is as much needed as a Jesus. Without Judas, Jesus will be poorer; something will be missing in the story. So Jesus has to be thankful to Judas also. Not only accept yourself, but accept everybody else as he is. Existence knows better.

I have heard a story about Bayazid, a Sufi mystic. He was passing on a road with his disciples and he saw a very beautiful red stone by the side of the path. He took it up, brooded for a moment, then replaced it. The disciples asked, “What are you doing? You took a rock and then you replaced it.”

He said, “Existence must have had some function for it, that’s why it is there. Who am I to change it, to change its place? I was just going to commit a sin. The beauty of the stone tempted me, but just in time I remembered existence. It must be there, it must be needed there.”

When you accept yourself, suddenly you accept everybody. A person who rejects himself cannot accept existence. How can you accept existence which made you? The moment you accept yourself, everything is accepted. Then everything is as it should be. Then there is no difference between should be and is. Then the should be is is. And suddenly a celebration arises. So accept it. Now play a note on your flute!